Peanuts in pet food formulas: is it good or bad?
Peanuts are one of many ingredients that have been under scrutiny and analysis in the Pet Food Industry. In this article we discuss the different questions that are raised about whether this ingredient is good or bad for pets.
Peanuts, good or bad?
It is one of the favorite snacks of humans around the world. Therefore, it is to be expected that animals like it too, right?
The ingredient itself is good and pet friendly; Let's analyze its main nutrients to know its benefits for animals:
∙ Vitamin E: It is a fat soluble nutrient essential for an animal to develop strong muscles and have a healthy circulatory and immune system. It is also an antioxidant, so it helps protect cells from free radical molecules, a group of atoms with oxygen and free electrons that can damage cell membranes and an animal's DNA.
The main benefits of vitamin E for pets are:
- Shiny Coat: Vitamin E helps maintain healthy, shiny skin and coat (it's in all pet shampoo formulas for a reason!).
- Reinforced immune system: the cold can dry out a pet's skin and compromise the immune system. Vitamin E is good for fighting the cold.
- Increased Fertility: According to a study by Reseachgate, a vitamin E boost for at least 60 days can improve fertility, especially in males.
- Vision improvement: Wilfrid Shute, a researcher, discovered, after an experiment, that taking vitamin E helps improve vision and reduces cataracts.
- Improved Muscle Function: Vitamin E prevents muscular dystrophy and strengthens muscle generation.
- Improves cardiovascular health: a study found that this vitamin slows down the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy.
∙ Vitamin B6: has a fundamental role in the production of proteins, hormones and neurotransmitters. Felines need a higher amount of vitamin B6 than dogs.
Its main benefits are:
- Maintains the balance of sodium and potassium.
- Regulates the distribution of water in the body.
- Participates in the absorption of fats and proteins.
- It promotes the production of red blood cells.
- Participates in the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
- Absorb vitamin B12.
- It is involved in the formation of antibodies and the functioning of the immune system.
- It promotes normal brain function.
∙ Niacin: Niacin or vitamin B3 is beneficial for the general health and well-being of animals.
Its main benefits are:
- Effective Metabolism - Niacin helps animals break down fatty acids. Its main function is to convert fats and carbohydrates into sources of energy. It also contributes to having a healthy and shiny coat.
- Cognitive function: mental capacity and its development depend, in large part, on niacin, and it will be beneficial for improving memory and training.
- Hormone synthesis: Niacin is important for hormonal secretion, and it promotes optimal kidney function.
- A healthy digestive tract: Vitamin B3 controls the production of stomach acids and bile in pets, which aid in the digestion of food and destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.
Why was peanuts once considered harmful to pets?
Xylitol. That is the answer.
We live in the information age, but so much content and voices also make it misinformed.
The same happened with peanuts. Xylitol is a polyol or sugar alcohol that is found naturally in some foods like lettuce and corn. It is generally used as a substitute for sugar.
What happens with this ingredient, as with almost all sugars or derivatives, is that it is harmful to pets.
Xylitol causes in some animals, such as dogs, for example, a rapid release of insulin, thus causing a rapid drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
This leads, depending on the amount ingested, into intoxication of the animal, and can cause:
• Muscular weakness
• Difficulty walking or standing
And even, in the worst cases, a coma.
What does xylitol have to do with peanuts and pets?
The answer is plain and simple: some peanut butter (or paste) formulas contain xylitol to sweeten the flavor. Since xylitol is not bad for humans, there is no problem.
The problem arose when someone gave their pet peanut paste made for humans, which unfortunately got intoxicated. This led to the rumor that peanuts are bad for animals. And although there may be cases in which, for example, it generates allergic reactions and is not suitable for consumption by an animal, in general, peanuts (natural) are beneficial for domestic animals.
To include peanuts in snacks or pet food, we must pay attention to:
∙ Know the supplier: it is best to use peanuts without salt, skin, shell, and / or other added ingredients. You have to pay special attention because, in some cases, an artificial sweetener is added, and these chemicals are not suitable for the digestive system of, for example, cats and dogs.
∙ Report possible allergic reactions: it is very important to notify on the packaging of a snack or cat food the possible allergic reactions that a not so 'common' ingredient in the formula may cause. In dogs, for example, a peanut allergy can become severe, causing coughing, sneezing, hives, and swelling in the facial area. It is always better to report more than less!
∙ Corroborate the appropriate amount: when evaluating the incorporation of a new ingredient, it is essential to carry out the pertinent studies to find the most suitable formula for future animals consuming these sweets or snacks. In this case, peanuts are high in fat, so if not dosed correctly it can even cause pancreatitis.
Peanuts are good and healthy for pets, so it can become an innovative option to expand the range of snack and snack options. And while it is not recommended to add this ingredient to the formula of a daily food, due to its amount of natural fats, it can be used to create an irresistible snack or treat for pets on the market.
What's your opinion on peanuts for pets? We are interested in knowing you, tell us in a comment
Source: All Pet Food